How to stream on Twitch with bad internet

When it comes to streaming on Twitch, you need to have the highest possible internet speed for a high-quality stream. But, how fast does your internet need to be for you to stream quality videos, without overspending on bandwidth you aren’t using?

The minimum speed that will give you a good streaming experience on Twitch is 3Mbps. This speed will enable you to watch or watch one video stream in HD or standard definition.

But if you would like to stream in a higher resolution, like 4K or Ultra HD, you will need a minimum speed of 25Mbps.

Read Also: What upload speed do you need to stream 1080p on Twitch?

So, what if you have bad internet? Does that mean that you can never stream on Twitch? Well, it depends on several factors that include your internet speeds and the bitrate that Twitch requires for your intended streaming resolution.

In this guide, you will learn how to optimize your Twitch stream based on your internet connection. Learning how to stream with bad internet is essential for everyone because speeds are never constant.

Factors that affect your internet speeds

Several factors can impact your connection to the internet. They include:

  • Hardware issues – Your router is old and cannot keep up with current internet speeds or, your Wi-Fi connection is poorly configured.
  • Distance from your ISP – The longer the distance from your ISP’s hardware, the weaker your internet signal will be.
  • Internet congestion – You are sharing an internet connection with hundreds of other customers. Congestion will occur because everyone is competing for the same internet speed.
  • Throttling – ISPs tend to throttle or slow down specific forms of traffic such as P2P traffic. It happens because you have reached a certain amount of downloaded data.
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When configuring your video camera stream, the goal is to find the best streaming quality. At the same time, you must be able to maintain your internet connection limits.

Also, you need to give your viewers an acceptable quality to bandwidth ratio. This is critical because many will be using their mobile phones to view your content.

5 ways to stream on Twitch with bad internet

Keep in mind that you will always experience bad internet from time to time even if you pay for speeds of 3Mbps and above. So, how do you stream on Twitch with slow internet? Here is how to stream on Twitch with slow internet.

1. Lower image quality on your device

The optimal image resolution that delivers a high-quality video stream is 720×1280 pixels. This is a standard definition that will work well on a 3Mbps internet speed.

But if you have a poor internet connection, you need to lower the resolution. It is the only way of keeping your stream running well.

In this case, you need to lower the resolution to 640×80 pixels. With this image quality, you can stream well with an internet speed of 1Mbps. However, you’ll have to compromise on clarity.

2. Choose a lower video compression format

Things get technical when choosing an ideal video compression format for streams. To make things simpler, choose from three compression options. These include:

If you are streaming on Twitch with slow internet, select the H.264 compression format. The format does not consume a lot of bandwidth compared to the two. Furthermore, it will maintain the same image quality from start to finish.

The advantage of H.264 is that it has a broad application range. It covers low-bit-rate internet streaming, digital camera applications, and HDTV broadcasts. Also, the format helps to reduce bandwidth usage. You can use the format to get a high picture quality and incorporate audio in your streams.

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3. Change OBS settings

OBS software

You need to have the OBS Studio software to be able to change the settings. Change OBS settings by following the steps below.

  • Open Settings on the OBS Studio software
  • Locate Video Settings
  • Change your Output and Base Resolution to 1280×720p
  • Change the Downscale Filter to Bilinear
  • Change the Integer FPS Value to 25

You’ll also need to change some output and advanced settings as shown below

  • On the left side of the Settings screen, click on Output Settings
  • Change the Output Mode to Simple
  • Change the Video Bitrate value to 1000
  • Change the Encoder value to Software (x264)
  • Change the Audio Bitrate value to 128
  • Choose Same as Stream as the Recording Quality and FLV as the Recording Format

After changing the output settings, change some settings on the advanced tab. You only need to change the stream delay and duration in seconds.

  • On the left side of the Settings screen, click on Advanced
  • Under Stream Delay, check the box labeled Enabled
  • Change duration to 20 seconds. Then check the box labeled Preserve cutoff point (increase delay) when reconnecting.

Leave the rest of the settings the same. Try to stream to determine if the changes work.

4. Change your browser

Web browsers have different performances when loading website pages. Some will load pages faster, and others will be slow. When you are dealing with low bandwidth video streaming, you need a fast browser.

Browsers perform differently depending on the number of hosts they are connected to. If a browser is connected to more hosts, it will be slower in performance. The browser will first send a request to each of those hosts before returning your query.

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If you have slow internet, the browser will use the limited connection to make requests first before returning your stream.

It is the reason you experience buffering whenever you are streaming online. As such, consider changing your browser if you are streaming on slow internet.

A different browser could make a significant difference in terms of data usage and page-load time.

You’ll want to check out our guide on the best browsers for streaming on Twitch.

5. Lower your frame rate

Modern cameras allow users to choose a frame rate from 1 to 30 FPS, frames per second.

Streaming online is more flexible when the frame rate is higher. But if you have low internet speed, you need to lower the frame rate.

Reducing the frame rate allows you to use less bandwidth. The downside is that it will result in a rough video.

When streaming a video with a higher frame rate, you are consuming more bandwidth. Your video stream will be fluid to the liking of your audience.

While lowering the frame rate will save you some bandwidth and can work on slow streams, it isn’t the best option on this list since your videos will look choppy.


Figuring out how to stream with bad internet on Twitch can help you in many ways. But that also means you will have to lower video quality to stream.

Start by lowering video resolution and frame rate to increase your bandwidth.

If this does not work, use a different browser that makes fewer requests to hosts. The two options should work. Otherwise, change your router or look for an ISP that offers better download and upload speeds.

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About the Author
Walter Allen
Streaming Media expert and technology writer. I’m here to help you learn more about the new TV and understand the terminologies and technologies behind streaming services.

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